We Have to Fight for It

President Biden’s Memorial Day address was quite good, I thought. I just want to make note of this part:

What we do now — what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether or not democracy will long endure.  We all take it for granted.  We think we learned in school.  You have to — every generation has to fight for it.

But, look, it’s the biggest question: Whether a system that prizes the individual, that bends towards liberty, that gives everybody a chance at prosperity — whether that system can and will prevail against powerful forces that wish it harm.

All that we do in our common life as a nation is part of that struggle.  The struggle for democracy is taking place around the world — democracy and autocracy.  The struggle for decency and dignity — just simple decency.  The struggle for posterity — prosperity and progress.  And, yes, the struggle for the soul of America itself.

More than 100 scholars of political science and related disciplines released an open letter today calling out a serious threat to democracy.

Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election. Collectively, these initiatives are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk. …

… Statutory changes in large key electoral battleground states are dangerously politicizing the process of electoral administration, with Republican-controlled legislatures giving themselves the power to override electoral outcomes on unproven allegations should Democrats win more votes. They are seeking to restrict access to the ballot, the most basic principle underlying the right of all adult American citizens to participate in our democracy. They are also putting in place criminal sentences and fines meant to intimidate and scare away poll workers and nonpartisan administrators. State legislatures have advanced initiatives that curtail voting methods now preferred by Democratic-leaning constituencies, such as early voting and mail voting. Republican lawmakers have openly talked about ensuring the “purity” and “quality” of the vote, echoing arguments widely used across the Jim Crow South as reasons for restricting the Black vote.

You may have heard about the Texas Democrats who stopped passage of partricularly heinous voter suppression bill by walking out of the Texas House and denying the Republicans a quorum. Gov. Greg Abbott is threatening to withhold pay from lawmakers who walked out. There are plans for a special session to take up the bill again.

CNN reports that the Texas Democrats are calling for help from Washington.

Texas state Democratic lawmakers are calling for federal action after they derailed a restrictive voting bill, and President Joe Biden is sending a grim warning about Republican-led state efforts to restrict voting access.

Greg Sargent wrote today,

With yet another GOP effort to restrict voting underway in Texas, President Biden is now calling on Congress to act in the face of the Republican “assault on democracy.” Importantly, Biden cast that attack as aimed at “Black and Brown Americans,” meriting federal legislation in response.

That is a welcome escalation. But it remains unclear whether 50 Senate Democrats will ever prove willing to reform or end the filibuster, and more to the point, whether Biden will put real muscle behind that cause. If not, such protections will never, ever pass. …

… Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) is the most visible obstacle here. But an unknown number of other moderate Democrats are also reluctant to cross that Rubicon, and it’s unclear how much effort Biden will put into making that happen.

Oh, yeah. Joe Manchin. And Kysten Cinema. And maybe some others. I am not seeing any obvious leverage that could be applied to force these deadbeats out of their complacency.

Much depends on how much President Biden, and key senators, still buy into the myth that the public wants bipartisanship more than they want to see shit get done, and “reaching across the aisle” will be rewarded by voters. I’d like to think they know better, but I can’t say they do.

So, what can we do? Is it time to take to the streets, again?

4 thoughts on “We Have to Fight for It

  1. To Democrats, the filibuster is the Rubicon that should never, ever be crossed!

    To RepubliKKKLANS, they treat that Rubicon like it's a toilet.  They don't need to cross, they just pull-down trou, squat, and pinch-off a loaf!

    The R's know that the Dem's know that if they ain't got 60, they'll just eventually quit.  

    They LAUGH at the D's when they stop at the river's edge!

    And D's inevitably back away, all while muttering apologies for causing any disturbance. Yeeeeeesh!!!!!

    If you D bobo's would cross that Rubicon JUST ONCE, you'll see the RepubliKKKLANS begging for bipartisanship.

    Why?  Because if you change the damn rule about the filibuster, effectively killing it, it shows the R's that you'll do it again for something else.

    A law passes with 51, it's as good as one that got 60.  61.  Or 91.

    And the RepubliKKKLANs will get killed back at home, because ONLY the Democrats voted for a bill that helps the RepubliKKKLANs KKKonstituents!  "And Senator, because YOU didn't throw in any amendments, the Dem districts got better deals!!! You better pow-wow with 'em from now on, Sir/Ma'am, or we'll vote in a Democraft to help us here!!!"

    Killing the filibuster will almost certainly get R's to the negotiating table.

    But until then, the R's are LAUGHING AT YOU!!!  

    Or don't kill the filibuster.

    Explain to your kids/grandkids what you did in "The War on Democracy," when democracy lost, Senator's Manchin and Sinema.

    Tell them how important the filibuster was to the Senate.  The US Senate, where tRUMP's horse, Incitatus, is now the Majority Leader (Hell, why not the whole horse?!?  We just had that horse's-ass, Moscow Mitch, in that slot.  AND besides, the horse is more empathetic!).

    Kill the filbuster, and watch them MFers weep.

  2. I can respect the wishes that the Senate would be a deliberative body of gentlemanly patriots.  MM has declared over the last 15 years is an open power grab to benefit the Republican donor class. 

    Both parties have always represented their donor class to a degree. Not since the Civil War has one side so openly rejected the norms of free and fair elections and so openly embraced lies and liars.

    I hold little hope that we'll reject the filibuster before 2023. IF we can hold the House and expand the Senate. Yes, I'll take to the street, literally, but I won't hold my breath. It's up to us to turn out the vote in 2022 despite the obstacles the GOP is erecting.

    But some bad news will become the impetus for change. The US Supreme Court will strike down Roe v Wade, possibly just in time for the 2022 elections. The talk of insurrection might be part of a plan and it might result in a Bay of Pigs assault on???

    I can tell you this. The cops aren't going to be sympathetic. If the assault is made with guns, the police and National Guard are better trained, better equipped and they will defend elected officials. As the GOP becomes the major defender of insurrection, the conservative independent voter will move away from the GOP.  This time, violence won't happen after the election, it will precede the election in cities to discourage turnout. 

    It's gonna be ugly and if the average voter doesn't have a spine, the bad guys may win. Will citizens stand up for democracy? I'm betting they will.

  3. What are the odds that democracy wins or loses.  It really comes down to what are the odds that the electorate will shoot themselves in the foot.

    I remember having a discussion about the flat tax with a family friend some years ago.  I explained to him at some length that this idea was a windfall to the rich.  That he was not rich so he was supporting an idea that hurt him and people like him, as he was not a member of that group.  I gave up when he said that he was planning on being rich, so he would continue to advocate for a flat tax.  Some people just love voting against their own best interests I concluded.  Oh, and some years later he is still not rich.  Flat tax Forbes still is.

    Rich people have incredible political power in comparison to the poor.  They have politicians in their pockets so to speak.  They can buy their kid's way into a fancy private school.  The smaller people have only the power of their one vote and what funds they can afford to donate, if any.  The only way that matters is if they use their vote wisely with those that favor a more level playing field.  It seems the smaller people could be convinced to do so, but they are attracted to flight of fancy.  Will they waste their vote on ideas that have a real effect on them and others like them, or will they sell out to an unrealistic fantasy.  The Republicans are betting they can disenfranchise, single issue, and con their was into getting people to vote for their ilk.

    Democracy would better be served if Republicans would at least try to be a little more egalitarian and favor a more level playing field.  This is not a goal of the new controlling corrupt wing of the party.  They like their crooked path as they coast above the law.  Laws, like taxes, are for the little people in their world.  

    Yes, it is going to be quite the struggle.  The fight will not be a fair one, as only one side will need to fight by the rules.  Low blows and succor punches will be allowed only for Republicans.  No one said democracy was going to be fair or easy.  It is, for the vast majority of us, our only real hope. 


  4. Off-Topic.   Two events that might be linked… or maybe not.  NY is reportedly closer (who knows how close) to a criminal indictment of Trump and maybe the kids.

    Trump is reportedly telling people he will be restored to the WH in August.

    Is Trump crazy enough to think he can issue pardons and deny NY State prosecution if he declares himself president-in-exile? 


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